Verstappen praises his former teammate Gasly as he leaves the Red Bull stable

Max Verstappen has shared some words of praise for Pierre Gasly amid the Frenchman’s departure from Red Bull.

Gasly will join Alpine in 2023 after several years at AlphaTauri, as well as a brief stint as Verstappen’s teammate in Red Bull’s main squad in 2019.

Before leaving the team, Gasly joined Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Yuki Tsunoda at Honda Racing’s Thanksgiving Day in Japan, where all the drivers paid tribute to the 26-year-old.

This included a speech by Verstappen, who praised Gasly as an “amazing driver”.

Verstappen shares praise for Gasly

“Pierre, we go back,” Verstappen told Gasly in front of the fans at the Motegi circuit.

“We already started competing with each other early on in karting and then of course we both became part of the Red Bull family. We also became teammates in Formula 1, and I know you are incredibly talented.”

“You work very hard for everything, to achieve everything you’ve done so far. You’ve also been a true team leader at AlphaTauri, for which I have a lot of respect, but I also understand your new challenge.”

“It’s been great having you as part of the whole family, because it’s two teams but it’s one big family. But I’m also very excited for you, for the future and especially for the next few years.”

“As you said before, maybe our paths will cross again. We are all still very young, Checo is a bit older!

“You’re an amazing driver, and I really wish you all the best, but we’ll see each other anyway.

“[I] I just wanted to tell you that, and I really hope that next year is already a great start for you in your new chapter.”

Gasly left “excited” at the start of AlphaTauri

As well as receiving tributes from his fellow F1 drivers, Gasly spoke of how it had been “emotional” to spend his last day as an AlphaTauri driver at the Honda event.

“It was a really special day, my last day as a Honda and AlphaTauri driver and what a way to celebrate it,” he explained.

“It was very emotional because today we drove with the AlphaTauri AT01, the one that I won [with] at Monza in 2020, and also here at Motegi where I took my first Super Formula victory for Honda.

“It’s probably the best way to end this chapter.”

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